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November 15, 2012

Minor League Update

Games of November 14

by Jason Martinez

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There was a full slate of action in the Dominican Winter League, although not one player did anything interesting enough to make my list. Not that there wasn't anything interesting going on. For instance, thirty-seven year-old Vladimir Guerrero, a career .318 hitter with 449 HR in 16 big league seasons, went 2-for-4 for the Tigres del Licey. And then there was Manny being Manny, playing for Aguilas Cibaenas. The 40 year-old, who is stuck at 555 career HR, homered in his DWL debut off the first pitch he saw from former big leaguer Daniel Cabrera, who ended up pitching seven strong innings and only allowing a pair of solo homers to Ramirez and former NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who was celebrating after I recently moved him into my Marlins' projected lineup after a certain blockbuster trade. See, I told you there were some good times being had in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

  • Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees (Scottsdale): 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K. His ERA is inflated, thanks to a disastrous outing last week (0.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H) but the Yankees have to be encouraged by Betances' control in the AFL. In 12 IP over eight relief appearances, the 24 year-old has 4 BB and 15 K. Entering 2012 as one of the organization's top pitching prospects, Betances walked 99 in 131.1 IP between Double-A and Triple-A. Small sample or not, this seems like progress.
  • Wilfredo Boscan, RHP, Rangers (Zulia-VWL): 5.1 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. The 23 year-old Venezuelan lowered his ERA to 0.65 after tossing 5.1 scoreless innings on Wednesday. He's only allowed a run in one of six starts and has limited opponents to a .235 batting average.. Expect him to have an outside chance to win a bullpen spot in Texas out of Spring Training.
  • Christian Colon, SS/2B, Royals (Ponce-PRBL): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB (2). The 4th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Colon had his best year as a pro in 2012, posting a .756 OPS with 12 SB in 73 Double-A games and finishing the season in Triple-A, where he was 7-for-17 in five games. He played 58 games at SS, where he made 17 errors, and 18 games at 2B, where he didn't commit a single error. Considering he's blocked at SS by Alcides Escobar and the Royals are not exactly enamored with Johnny Giavotella at 2B, it would seem that a permanent switch could be in the works in 2013. But that's just me thinking out loud. The 23 year-old has played 4 games at SS and 2 games at 2B for Ponce, thus far.
  • Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies (Salt River): 4-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, SB (8). Chosen as one of three 'Factors on the Farm' (prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013) in BP's recently-released Top Prospects rankings for the Rockies, Dickerson continues to show that he's very good at hitting a baseball. His batting average is up to .387 after he extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a four-hit performance on Wednesday. 
  • Slade Heathcott, OF, Yankees (Scottsdale): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI. Heathcott has probably had enough mentions during the AFL season. He's a talented prospect. Blah blah blah. You get the point. But just thought I should point out that he's 19 for his last 32 with 1 HR, 6 2B, 3 3B, and 12 RBI and is now hitting .388 in 18 games.
  • Tommy Joseph, C, Phillies (Peoria): 2-for-4, RBI, SB (1). Joseph has struggled in the AFL, managing just five singles and a double in his first 40 at-bats. Consecutive multi-hit games has him poised to finish the season on a positive note, though. The 21 year-old, acquired from the Giants in the Hunter Pence deal in July, won't be rushed to the big leagues. In fact, he could repeat Double-A with prospect Sebastian Valle likely returning to Triple-A. They'll both try to position themselves to become the Phillies' next starting catcher, possibly as soon as 2014 if Carlos Ruiz bolts as a free agent.
  • Daniel Ortiz, OF, Twins (Mayaguez-PRBL): 4-for-4, HR (1), 2 RBI. Ortiz looks like a fringe prospect at this point but he's only 22 and has flashed some power at times since being taken in the 4th Round in 2008. The left-handed hitter gets the mention, though, after collecting four hits on Wednesday, including two singles against a very tough big league lefty, Hector Santiago, who pitched five scoreless innings.  
  • Ronny Rodriguez, SS, Indians (Scottsdale): 2-for-5, 3B, RBI, SB (6). I often mention the Rangers as the organization with the most talented and deepest group of middle infielders in baseball. That doesn't mean I'm right. It's arguable. The Indians could be neck-and-neck with them in that area. The biggest difference, however, is that Rangers have more depth in the upper minors, including a major league ready potential superstar in Jurickson Profar. None of the top middle infield prospects for Cleveland reached Double-A in 2012. Rodriguez, who had a .752 OPS in Hi-A last season, could be there as early as Opening Day 2013. And he won't turn 21 until mid-April.

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